not according to recipe

Black Midnight Cake 002

have you ever followed a recipe to a tee and it flopped?
have you ever made taste adjustments to a recipe?
have you ever eaten something and wanted the recipe?

if you ask me for a recipe…you’ll be met with some silence.
I like to embellish and detract from recipes and create dishes suited to my own taste…
I cook as much with sight (reading) as I do with taste, smell, and touch.

I enjoy watching Chopped, on the Food Network.
3 chefs go head-to-head in a cooking battle
their challenge is to take a mystery basket of ingredients and turn them into a dish that is judged on their creativity, presentation, and taste with minimal time to plan and execute.
how exciting!

and, of course, as I am wont to do, I perhaps think too deeply about ordinary things…
I am thinking that we are all given this basket of ingredients, if you will…or maybe a toolbox…of what is necessary, or needed to live our lives…
we take the things out, rearrange them, maneuver them, mold them, shape them
“cook” with them
to create the “recipe” or the plan, or the action steps
to live, to help, to listen, to love, to foster, to “eat”….

and yet…most of the ingredients are similar
but the final “dishes” can be so unique and different

but, does that really make one meal better than another?
isn’t there more than one way to prepare, to use, the ingredients?

do we (I) at times think that my way, my preparation, is the best way?
that my “dish” tastes better and looks better and smells better?

that idea and notion needs to put on the chopping block…

often our lives don’t go according to recipe…but isn’t that OK?


The wrong kind of passion can be a dangerous thing. Too often people are ruled by strong emotions, thoughts that cannot be checked, and actions that cannot be controlled. If that’s the case, then you are putting your life and well-being in jeopardy. Peace of mind, tranquility of soul, and serenity of heart become the recipe for a long, happy life. – Proverbs 14:31 (the Voice)

grace – the main ingredient


on being found: understanding life in reverse


“you don’t matter”
“see, I told you…no one really cares about you”
“you are stuck here forever”

“I see you.”

For You shaped me, inside and out.
    You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
    You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
    Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
    You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret,
    carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
 You see all things;
    You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
    You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it. – Psalm 139 (the Voice)

“I have not forgotten you.”

This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9 (the Voice)

“You matter.” 

My salvation and my significance depend ultimately on God; the core of my strength, my shelter, is in the True God. – Psalm 62:7 (the Voice)



“I love you.”

“I have loved you with an everlasting love—
        out of faithfulness I have drawn you close.” – Jeremiah 33:3 (the Voice)

“You are not stuck.”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (the Voice)


the moment (or culmination of moments) that the figurative light goes on…is really not as dramatic as it may seem
at least not for me.

for me, it’s been a gradual growth and sometimes painful chiseling process to be where I am today…
with a sense of purpose and freedom

now, please don’t hear me say that I have it all together and my life is rainbows and unicorns…
I still struggle
I still mess up
I still get in the way…
to be in a place where the purpose in your life, the place where you matter
finds you….
is beyond words.

to be found.

that is overwhelming…

looking back at the struggles and the heartbreak
and the failures and the losses…
and to know that those inconceivable moments
have shaped and molded me into
the future counselor, the helper, that I am called to be…

now that, is looking at and understanding life in reverse.
when all seems lost…
and then to be found…

only because of God’s amazing grace…





earlier bits

October 2014
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